Scheer challenge: Conservative leader wants to be recognized in 2018

Rachel Aiello@rachaiello

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says the biggest challenge he foresees in 2018 is raising his public profile.

“It’s getting out to more places, and finding a way to get my message out to Canadians, and in a way that resonates with them,” Scheer told Evan Solomon, host of CTV’s Question Period when asked what his biggest challenge would be in the new year.

Scheer took the helm of the federal Conservative Party in May. Since then, he has rolled out two television ads: One, taking aim at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s tax reforms, and another of the long-time politician in a plaid short-sleeve button-up introducing himself to Canadians while taking a stroll through the park.

Part of his plan? Beefing up the Tory social media game.

“We learned a lot of things from the last election. You have to do more innovative things on social media, you have to talk to people on the platforms that they’re on. We’re doing more of that. We’ve seen a lot of success and improvement,” Scheer said.

In 2017, Canadians wanted to get to know him, or started to wonder who he was, according to Google’s Year in Search roundup. Scheer was the top trending political figure in Canada.

The top trending category looks at the searches that had the highest spike in traffic over a sustained period in 2017, compared to the year before.

Building off that momentum Scheer said to expect to see him getting out there more.

“More events, more ads, more opportunities to give speeches,” he said.

This will be done in an effort to counter what Scheer admits is the strong public messaging coming from the Prime Minister’s Office. He said Trudeau is very good at getting images out quickly.

“They’ve got a very good PR shop in the PMO, but I think what Canadians are finding out, is that they’re putting a lot of focus on PR and not enough on policy and actually improving the lives of Canadians,” Scheer said.

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